Cultural mediation of children's cosmologies: a longitudinal study of the astronomy concepts of Chinese and New Zealand children: a longitudinal study of the astronomy concepts of Chinese and New Zealand children

Tom G.K. Bryce, E. Blown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

These longitudinal studies investigated the cultural mediation of children's thinking about the Earth using an interview technique designed to elicit responses from children from all "levels" of their conceptual organization (intuitive, cultural, and scientific). Close scrutiny of the research literature in this field reveals that some strategies used in the past to probe children's ideas have been influenced by the background of the interviewer, either in the design of their questions or in the use made of concrete props (e.g., of the Earth's shape). This has tended to obscure the degree of cultural influence in those interviewed. Central to the current research was the development of an interview method ("instrument attunement") that was flexible, culturally adaptable, and could be tuned to the response level of the child. The participants included 129 boys and 113 girls from China, and 217 boys and 227 girls from New Zealand. The methodology utilizing observational astronomy led into discussion of the motion and shape of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Surprisingly, the development of children's concepts was found to be remarkably similar within the three main ethnic groups (Han, New Zealand European and New Zealand Maori) in the two cultures (China and New Zealand). Cases of cultural mediation were detected using the new methodology but these could be assimilated into a common taxonomy of cosmological concepts for all participants.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1113-1160
Number of pages48
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume28
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

Fingerprint

mediation
longitudinal study
New Zealand
interview
China
methodology
taxonomy
ethnic group
organization

Keywords

  • cultural mediation
  • astronomy concepts
  • science education

Cite this

@article{40aae6244e8643299620ed9475b6c44c,
title = "Cultural mediation of children's cosmologies: a longitudinal study of the astronomy concepts of Chinese and New Zealand children: a longitudinal study of the astronomy concepts of Chinese and New Zealand children",
abstract = "These longitudinal studies investigated the cultural mediation of children's thinking about the Earth using an interview technique designed to elicit responses from children from all {"}levels{"} of their conceptual organization (intuitive, cultural, and scientific). Close scrutiny of the research literature in this field reveals that some strategies used in the past to probe children's ideas have been influenced by the background of the interviewer, either in the design of their questions or in the use made of concrete props (e.g., of the Earth's shape). This has tended to obscure the degree of cultural influence in those interviewed. Central to the current research was the development of an interview method ({"}instrument attunement{"}) that was flexible, culturally adaptable, and could be tuned to the response level of the child. The participants included 129 boys and 113 girls from China, and 217 boys and 227 girls from New Zealand. The methodology utilizing observational astronomy led into discussion of the motion and shape of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Surprisingly, the development of children's concepts was found to be remarkably similar within the three main ethnic groups (Han, New Zealand European and New Zealand Maori) in the two cultures (China and New Zealand). Cases of cultural mediation were detected using the new methodology but these could be assimilated into a common taxonomy of cosmological concepts for all participants.",
keywords = "cultural mediation, astronomy concepts, science education",
author = "Bryce, {Tom G.K.} and E. Blown",
year = "2006",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1080/09500690500439280",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "1113--1160",
journal = "International Journal of Science Education",
issn = "0950-0693",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cultural mediation of children's cosmologies: a longitudinal study of the astronomy concepts of Chinese and New Zealand children

T2 - International Journal of Science Education

AU - Bryce, Tom G.K.

AU - Blown, E.

PY - 2006/8

Y1 - 2006/8

N2 - These longitudinal studies investigated the cultural mediation of children's thinking about the Earth using an interview technique designed to elicit responses from children from all "levels" of their conceptual organization (intuitive, cultural, and scientific). Close scrutiny of the research literature in this field reveals that some strategies used in the past to probe children's ideas have been influenced by the background of the interviewer, either in the design of their questions or in the use made of concrete props (e.g., of the Earth's shape). This has tended to obscure the degree of cultural influence in those interviewed. Central to the current research was the development of an interview method ("instrument attunement") that was flexible, culturally adaptable, and could be tuned to the response level of the child. The participants included 129 boys and 113 girls from China, and 217 boys and 227 girls from New Zealand. The methodology utilizing observational astronomy led into discussion of the motion and shape of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Surprisingly, the development of children's concepts was found to be remarkably similar within the three main ethnic groups (Han, New Zealand European and New Zealand Maori) in the two cultures (China and New Zealand). Cases of cultural mediation were detected using the new methodology but these could be assimilated into a common taxonomy of cosmological concepts for all participants.

AB - These longitudinal studies investigated the cultural mediation of children's thinking about the Earth using an interview technique designed to elicit responses from children from all "levels" of their conceptual organization (intuitive, cultural, and scientific). Close scrutiny of the research literature in this field reveals that some strategies used in the past to probe children's ideas have been influenced by the background of the interviewer, either in the design of their questions or in the use made of concrete props (e.g., of the Earth's shape). This has tended to obscure the degree of cultural influence in those interviewed. Central to the current research was the development of an interview method ("instrument attunement") that was flexible, culturally adaptable, and could be tuned to the response level of the child. The participants included 129 boys and 113 girls from China, and 217 boys and 227 girls from New Zealand. The methodology utilizing observational astronomy led into discussion of the motion and shape of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Surprisingly, the development of children's concepts was found to be remarkably similar within the three main ethnic groups (Han, New Zealand European and New Zealand Maori) in the two cultures (China and New Zealand). Cases of cultural mediation were detected using the new methodology but these could be assimilated into a common taxonomy of cosmological concepts for all participants.

KW - cultural mediation

KW - astronomy concepts

KW - science education

U2 - 10.1080/09500690500439280

DO - 10.1080/09500690500439280

M3 - Article

VL - 28

SP - 1113

EP - 1160

JO - International Journal of Science Education

JF - International Journal of Science Education

SN - 0950-0693

IS - 10

ER -